STEP 1: Finding Your Realtor

Most people start their home buying search by looking at sites such as, Zillow or Trulia.  That’s completely fine and understandable, but step 1 to buying a home should be to hire a Realtor to represent you.


What is a Buyer’s Agent?

There are two parties in a Real estate transaction—the buyer and the seller. It is important that both the buyer and the seller have their own individual representation.

As a buyer, you want someone to look out solely for your interest and ensure you get the best deal possible. That person will be your Buyer’s Agent.

How does a Buyer’s Agent get paid? Conveniently, when a person decides to sell their house, they sign a ‘listing agreement’ with their agent, who is referred to as the Listing Agent, and agree to pay commission to both the listing agent and the buyer’s agent upon the completion of the sale.

Searching online on your own takes a LOT of time and you want direct access to the Multiple Listing Service Realtor site… which only Realtors have.  Through this a Realtor can set you up for automatic searches which will message you directly when a viable property is entered into the MLS (Multiple Listing System). The MLS is the Mothership for all the listings by Realtors in the city. This is the database that supplies all the listings to all the other real estate websites. You want your matches sent to you directly as things move very fast in the market in 2023. Each day (or by your preferences) you’ll be emailed a list of all the new properties matching your criteria, as well as price reductions – which then may put the property in your budget!  This saves you a lot of time.  And in the Portland real estate market where great properties sell in a matter of days, it is an enormous advantage to be able to get in and to see a property on the day, or within a day or two of it going on the market.

So, how to decide on a Realtor? Well, hopefully you will contact Harlan Mayer, Principal Broker. You can call at 503-288-3979 or email harlan(at)realestatepdx(dot)com so we can meet in person and see if we would be a good fit together.  The first meeting is about giving you an overview of the market and to discuss some strategies that may work well for you. Remember, not all Realtors are right for all people. You need to find someone who is not only great at his or her job, but someone you like, as you have to communicate a lot with that person.  So get together and have coffee and chat.  See if you click. If so, you need to determine if that person has the experience, customer service and understanding of the market that you’re looking for.  Start out by noticing how quickly the Realtor responds to your initial phone call or email.  If the Realtor doesn’t get back to you within a maximum of 24 hours, that’s a bad sign.  This business moves fast and deals can be lost if your Realtor doesn’t respond quickly on your behalf during negotiations.

Interview the Realtor by asking them very specific questions.  Click here to read a post with our recommended interview questions.